Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in which Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four flights—crashing one into each of New York City’s Twin Towers, another into the Pentagon, and the fourth into a field in Pennsylvania—a whopping 580 people have been convicted of terrorism in the United States. An even more astonishing 380 of them were foreign-born, according to a release by the office of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and a new report from Fox News.
The Department of Justice, Sessions’ subcommittee—the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest—uncovered that the Department of Justice has kept a list showing that 580 individuals have been convicted of terrorism-related activities in the United States between Sept. 11, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2014. The list is presumably longer if the past couple years, from Dec. 31, 2014, to present, were included. Of those 580, Sessions’ subcommittee uncovered, at least 380 such individuals were foreign born—meaning they got into the United States either through illegal immigration or via a U.S. government-allowed legal immigration or visa program or refugee program.
“Using this list, the Subcommittee conducted open-source research and determined that at least 380 of the 580 were foreign-born (71 were confirmed natural-born, and the remaining 129 are not known),” Sessions’ committee uncovered. “Of the 380 foreign-born, at least 24 were initially admitted to the United States as refugees, and at least 33 had overstayed their visas. Additionally, of those born abroad, at least 62 were from Pakistan, 28 were from Lebanon, 22 were Palestinian, 21 were from Somalia, 20 were from Yemen, 19 were from Iraq, 16 were from Jordan, 17 were from Egypt, and 10 were from Afghanistan.”
The report from Fox News’ Judson Berger, which broke earlier on Wednesday before Sessions’ subcommittee announcement, summarized the actions of several of these mostly foreign-born terrorists’ activities inside the United States. Berger wrote:
A Seattle man plotting to attack a U.S. military facility. An Atlantic City man using his ‘Revolution Muslim’ site to encourage confrontations with U.S. Jewish leaders ‘at their homes.’ An Iraq refugee arrested in January, accused of traveling to Syria to “take up arms” with terror groups. These are just a few of the hundreds of individuals in the U.S. convicted or implicated in terror-related cases since 9/11 – all included in a newly compiled congressional accounting that gives fresh insight into the true scope of the threat.
Sessions, in a release provided to Breitbart News ahead of its public release, details how he and his colleagues including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had asked at least three times since August 2015 for the Obama administration to provide details on the immigration histories of terrorists convicted in the United States through 2014. The letters were sent to the Department of Justice, Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security. Rather than cooperating with the investigation by Sessions’ team, the Obama administration instead resisted the requests for information.
“For over 10 months, the Obama Administration has refused to provide this crucial and easily accessible information,” Sessions’ subcommittee release reads.
And while the DOJ did provide that list of 580 terror convictions, Sessions’ team writes, DOJ “has deferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide immigration background information regarding these individuals, but to this day, DHS has not done so – despite having the information on the foreign-born easily accessible in its records and databases.”
Using open source materials, the committee was able to determine that at least 380 of those 580 were foreign born. Sessions’ team wrote:
Because the Subcommittee does not have access to the Administration’s databases and files, it continues to lack critical information on most of the individuals on the list. Additionally, the list provided by the Department of Justice does not include cases that are sealed, have otherwise not been made public, or that have been handled strictly through civil immigration proceedings (as terror cases often are). This information, when considered in light of four major terror attacks in the United States in roughly the past year, alone – Garland, Texas; Chattanooga, Tennessee; San Bernardino, California; and, Orlando, Florida – makes clear that the United States lacks the ability to properly screen individuals prior to their arrival to the United States. It further makes clear that our nation has a serious assimilation problem. Yet, the Obama Administration has not only refused to provide the requested immigration information of these individuals, but it persists in its desire to continue admitting more aliens from many of these high-risk areas of the world, including at least 6,000 more Syrian refugees between now and September 30.
As more information about these foreign-born terrorists convicted in the United States since 9/11 comes out, this is sure to be a major narrative throughout the year. And the heat is only going to get hotter on President Barack Obama himself, and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, since both want to bring more foreigners into America from regions infested with terrorism.
Sessions just last week wrote directly to Obama, pressing the president himself on this:
When compared with your Administration’s immigration policies, and bearing in mind the four major terrorist attacks in the United States in the last year alone, this inability to properly screen individuals from abroad and assimilate those we admit paints a striking picture,” Sessions wrote to Obama. “Between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2014, the United States granted green cards to approximately 832,000 individuals from Muslim-majority countries, including approximately 102,000 from Iraq, 102,000 from Pakistan, 85,000 from Iran, nearly 18,000 from Syria, and nearly 20,000 from Yemen. For Fiscal Year 2016, as of June 10, the United States had admitted approximately 19,625 Muslim refugees from across the world, out of approximately 44,340 total refugees. It has also only managed to admit 3,887 Syrian refugees, of whom only 23 were not Muslim. With your Administration’s goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees and a total of 85,000 refugees this fiscal year, your Administration will fall short unless it admits approximately 10,165 refugees in each of the four remaining months, of which approximately 1,528 would have to be from Syria. Given that we have already identified at least 40 individuals who were initially admitted to this country as refugees and who were subsequently convicted or implicated in terrorism – including an Iraqi refugee who was just admitted to the United States in 2012 and arrested in January of this year – it is clear that ensuring the proper screening of refugees is of the utmost importance.
Clinton, of course, wants to increase the numbers of Syrian and other terror-region refugees being imported into America with little-to-no screening.
In addition to all these details, the Fox News piece has various charts that detail where in America these people have been sent—and which states have terrorist convictions since 9/11. Almost every state has seen terror convictions.